YMCA Regional HQ and Head Start Facility Coming to Vine City

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Invest Atlanta board of directors approved at their May meeting a $2.5 million Westside TAD grant to fund the new YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta Leadership and Learning Center in Vine City.

The Center will house the YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s administrative offices and Head Start learning facility serving 70-90 children aged zero to four-years-old. Priority for these spaces will be given to eligible residents of Vine City, English Avenue, Castleberry Hill and other Westside neighborhoods.

A good deal of thought was put into the Center’s design, which involves the redevelopment of Jordan Hall, a privately‐owned former Morris Brown University facility. Based on the input received at community meetings and listening sessions, the Center will preserve the iconic entry building fronting Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, and much of the new façade will complement the style and scale of the original building. Significant areas of the Center will also be named to pay respect to the history of the site(pending approval from Morris Brown), including Bishop Jordan Hall Pavilion , the Asa Ware Early Learning Center, and the Ruth Hall Hodges Art Hall and Gallery.

The plans for the Center received recommendations from the Vine City Civic Association, NPU-L, and the Westside TAD Advisory Board.

The Head Start learning facility will also serve as a regional innovation and training lab, providing training for all YMCA early learning classrooms and more than 1,500 YMCA staff throughout the southeast. Members of the surrounding communities, along with local non-profits, will also have access to the facility.

In addition, the Center will include a small community market offering quality, affordable groceries and healthy “grab and go” meal options sourced from local farms.

Two-thirds of the funding for the $24 million Center will come from philanthropic contributions, raised as part of an aggressive YMCA capital campaign. Invest Atlanta is providing $2.5 million through the TAD grant approved on Thursday, and Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc., Invest Atlanta’s certified community development entity, is using New Markets Tax Credits to attract private investors to contribute an additional $6.8 million to the project.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta Leadership and Learning Center is expected to begin construction this summer and open in the fall of 2018. Learn more about Invest Atlanta’s efforts on the Westside here.